I remember the first time seeing a video from Jeremy, I instantly thought, "Who is this Guy and where did he come from?!!?" He is a visionary and was doing things that people are only doing now. In fact, a couple of years ago one of his drone videos went viral and seen around the world. His career took off and the rest of us were playing catch up. Prime Footage continues to release some of the best films/music videos out of Hawaii.
What I always loved about his films was that there was always a story beneath it. His choices of music and his editing are all on point. I followed his career since the first video and I don't know how we connected but somehow our paths crossed on the interwebs. I gushed over his work and said how inspiring his videos were to me. Fast forward to today and living even further away, I decided to get to know Jeremy. Keep in mind, I have never met Jeremy in person.
Aerial Reel by Jeremy
How long have you been a filmmaker?
That’s a good question… I first picked up a camera back when I was in the 9th grade, I believe that was in 1999. It was a Sony camcorder that filmed with hi8 tapes. I used to film friends (surfing and just doing dumb shit) and family events not anything too serious. I never had a computer at the time, so I used to edit with two VCR’s back then. You really had to think out of the box, you know. At the time, I just would make slideshows for people’s graduation parties (mostly family) that was my start into video. I graduated in 2003 and eventually went to school for culinary arts and never did any filming during that time. In 2006, I dropped out of college and started working in the restaurant field. I worked from the bottom-up and ended up quitting the job a year later (2007). I went back to school in graphic design/media at HCC. I did one year in that program and felt to advanced and wasn’t really learning anything there so eventually I dropped out again lol and just went into the video business. I met a lot of different people through my life and had a lot of friends in the music scene. And in 2007-2008, I seen that people needed content but no one in Hilo really took it seriously. Fast forward to 2014, I got into drone videos before what it is today (now everyone has one) and that’s where we made our big break. That's when I started doing stuff with bigger productions (Nickelodeon, Nat Geo, CNN, Apple and a few other ones) and it was all based on The Big Island. Now days people know us for droning and stuff and always putting out cool videos. But we are just regular people, just filming and creating. After working with bigger productions, we realized that it's all the same (big or small productions) and now we mainly focus on working on project we believe in and help those people grow their content and videos. In a short answer, I would say, I’ve been doing video serious for the past 10 years.
What is your proudest film/video?
I don’t really have one. I try and make each video unique and it has our style on it. I always say, “you are only as good as your last video.”
What is your most recent film?
Most recent one would be the Steppas new music video – King for a Day
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently editing a bunch of different music video with The Steppas, media music, one rhythm and a few other projects I can’t really talk about, but these projects are huge!
Who are your inspirations?
Most people would say their parents and family which is true but for me, my inspirations are the everyday life man; the struggle, the grind, the glory. You know everywhere you look is an inspiration. It doesn’t have to be just one person or some rich dude. You know for me, it’s all around me that’s my inspiration
What is your typical “go-to” camera setup?
Right now, my go to is Sony 6300 kit lens. It’s not the camera you have its what story you tell.
What is your process like? Pre-Production and post?
In cooking there is a term called, “mise en place” which means everything in place and that’s how productions are, you know everything must be in place to make it run smooth. Our workflow usually starts with getting to know the client then pre-planning on what they want or what we think they would like. Then we start out with a shot list, places where we are shooting and the story. We set up and shoot. In post, I mainly handle all the edits and then we send a rough draft to client and see what they say and make changes if need to. Lastly we send the final cut to client.
I’m pretty sure if I handed you a phone or a VHS recorder your stuff would still look great. What do you consider your secret sauce of film making?
Now days there is no secrets. YouTube is a big help for anyone just starting to do videos. I feel that you must have a good story or good content and it’ll go far!
I recently made my first music video, what is your #1 advice to me and other filmmakers?
Always think differently! And be yourself, don’t try to please other people. Do what you believe in and it’ll show through your work. Also, do it for the love, not the money!
Best advice you got from another filmmaker or friend?
What is the indie scene like in Hilo? Or Hawaii?
In Hilo there are a lot of talented filmmakers out here, we all work together.
As far as getting clients, do you depend on coconut wireless (word-of-mouth) or do you dip into a strong social presence either by YouTube/Facebook/Instagram?
Word of mouth was a big one for us and just going out and filming. Also Instagram was a big one once they had the video feature.
What is your dream production or film? Big Budget? Story Telling or a Music Video?
I’ve worked on all those types of projects. From big budget to small budget to music videos. I honestly just do it for the love and somehow people pay me to do it. But my main one right now that I’m in the process of doing... but I can’t really say much due to some NDA contracts. It’s going to be a big one for The Big Island and Hawaii.
What can you tell future filmmakers?
Do it for the love and not the money. If you think about the money and how much you are going to get paid for the video/project, your product will be shit and it’ll show. Also collaborate with other and help each other grow. Don’t be selfish and do it for you, do it for the people you want to grow with.
Much mahalos Rex for sending me these questions really made me think on the past to see how far we came. It wasn’t just me, it was a bunch of individuals that helped me and my team where we are today and they all know who they are.